Ladies Day at Ffos Las could not have been better weatherwise. It was sunny and warm and the going was good, good to soft in places. Some of today’s winners are destined to compete at some of the bigger meetings.
The card began with a 7f nursery. Mac McCarthy, a 7/1 shot despite winning last time out, made it two in a row. Jungle Book set a good gallop, but couldn’t sustain it into the final furlong, when the winner took it up and powered away to triumph by almost four lengths. Finley Marsh had done well to get him across from his wide draw to the inside rail soon after the start, an enterprising move that the horse’s trainer Richard Hughes would have enjoyed.
Alan King has turned himself into a dual purpose trainer in recent years. In today’s 7f novices stakes Tritonic (3/1) became his twelfth two-year-old winner in that period, coming from a long way behind to get up in the last few strides under Megan Nicholls. The long-time leader Skontonovski appeared to have gained an unassailable advantage, but he was outstayed by Tritonic, who came in half a length ahead.
Skontonovski’s trainer Richard Spencer and jockey Martin Dwyer gained quick recompense with Bernardo O’Reilly (7/2) in the 6f handicap, a race that trio won in 2018. This time it was they who snatched a last-gasp victory, coming from behind to hit the front in the final 50 yards. Sunsprite came out on top in a blanket finish for second place, half a length behind.
Trainer Chris Mason’s best season keeps getting better and his home-bred Gilt Edge (7/4 fav) won her second race in succession when taking the 5f handicap. In yet another exciting finish, the filly ran on well for Rhiain Ingram to deprive Lorna Cole of the spoils in the last couple of strides. The judge’s verdict was that there was a head between them at the line.
The 1m2f fillies handicap attracted three decent runners. The 4/9 favourite Last Look, 2-2 so far for Saeed bin Suroor, was soon sent into the lead by Gabriele Malune, and stayed there. Her chief market rival Norma tried to close in the penultimate furlong, but the leader pulled away again for a cosy three length victory. She will go on to be competitive in better class races. The Queen’s filly Clarion was last of the three throughout.
The quartet in the next race, over a mile, also finished in the order the betting suggested. Having his first run on turf, the Owen Burrows-trained Motfael (4/6 fav) confirmed the promise he’d shown in his first two outings. Martin Dwyer held him up in third place, but once he was asked for his effort he rapidly overwhelmed the others and dashed away to score by six lengths. Hawridge Storm, who lost at least that distance due to a very slow start, made late progress to take the runner-up berth.
An eight length winner here ten days ago, Ralph Beckett’s Tigerskin (6/4 fav) returned on favourable terms for a 1m6f handicap and recorded another very easy success. Louis Steward settled him in third or fourth place, and once they turned into the straight he was obviously still going very well. He took the lead two out and when shaken up promptly drew right away from the large field. The handicapper will take a dim view of his facile five length win. Spring Run was best of the rest.